‘Quiet Place’ Makes a Lot of Noise at Box Office

It was anything but a quiet weekend at the North America box office. The acclaimed low-budget horror film A Quiet Place made plenty of noise, as did Universal’s Blockers and the second weekend of Warner’s Ready Player One.

Thanks to the top three contributing close to $100 million in ticket sales, the top ten rose a healthy 24% over last weekend’s holiday frame and a big 34% over last year at this time. The 2018 box office should continue to climb out of its late winter slump over the next few weeks as Rampage and Avengers: Infinity War arrive on the scene.

If there is a studio desperate for a hit, it is Paramount Pictures. Once a box office powerhouse, the studio has struggled mightily over the past several years, releasing films that were moderate hits at best. The last film that could genuinely qualify as a blockbuster for the beleaguered studio was 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinctionwith a $245 million in ticket sales. The last movie to finish north of $150 million was 2016’s Star Trek Beyondwith $156 million. Not a bad box office gross, but one far below the amount of money poured into its production and marketing.

While it is too early to tell where A Quiet Place will land in terms of blockbuster status, it is already steering Paramount in the right direction after only three days. Produced for a mere $17 million, the acclaimed John Krasinski horror film arrived on 3,508 screens Friday to score a great $50 million with an additional $21 million from international markets. The domestic numbers represent not only the best start for a Paramount film since Star Trek: Beyond, it also one of the biggest openings ever for a horror film.

The successful launch for A Quiet Placemirrored the start of last year’s Oscar winning blockbuster, Get Out. The Jordan Peele smash hitgot its advanced buzz started at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. A Quiet Place had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival last month. Festival feedback for both was through the roof, which helped turn both films into something of a “must see” event by the time they opened nationwide.

Whether A Quiet Place has the box office durability Get Out had one year ago remains to be seen, but it certainly has the backing needed to bring in non-genre fans curious to see what all the, ahem, noise is all about. Place has earned an excellent 97% from Rotten Tomatoes, an 82/100 from Metacritic and a solid “B+” from opening weekend crowds on CinemaScore. Next weekend will be the telltale sign if all that acclaim pays off. Even if for some reason it does not, Paramount is still looking at its first profitable film in quite some time.

Warner’s Ready Player One stayed in the game in its second weekend on 4,234 screens. The Steven Spielberg epic saw a modest post-Easter decrease of only 40%, resulting in a $25 million weekend haul. To date, Ready Player One has scored a solid $97 million. A final North America gross near $150 million is a possibility. Overseas, Player delivered $81.7 million this weekend to push its overseas total up to a great $294.4 million. Warner can thank China for that big amount as the Middle Kingdom has spent a huge $161 million on the film so far.

For those not in the mood to be scared or dazzled with virtual reality, there was Blockers. The raunchy R-rated Universal comedy opened in third place with a solid $21.4 million from 3,379 theaters. Reviews were strong for the $21 million production, which stars Leslie Mann and John Cena. Blockers scored an 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 69/100 on Metacritic and a “B” from those polled on CinemaScore. Blockers also opened in select foreign markets, where it scored $10.7 million.

Black Panther dug its claws into fourth place this weekend as the Disney/Marvel blockbuster pushed Titanic aside to become the third biggest domestic film of all time. For its eighth weekend in the top five, Panther delivered $8.4 million from 2,747 theaters, pushing its overall total up to$665.3 million. Panther should finish its historical theatrical run close to the $680 million mark. This could happen right around the time Avengers: Infinity War arrives on April 27th.

Rounding out the top five was the Roadside Attractions’ hit I Can Only Imagine with an estimated $8.35 million from 2,894 theaters. Down only 20%, the new overall total for Imagine is $69 million.

  1.  Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (Lionsgate) $8 million (-53%); $31.3 million
  2.  Chappaquiddick (Entertainment) $6.2 million

Originally set for a late 2017 release, the new fictional drama based on the 1969 Ted Kennedy scandal scored solid reviews from critics but found only moderate interest from ticket buyers.

  1.  Sherlock Gnomes (Paramount) $5.6 million (-20%); $34 million
  2.  Pacific Rim: Uprising (Universal) $4.9 million (-48%); $55 million
  3.  Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) $4.6 million (+56%); $12 million

The Wes Anderson animated feature finally goes into wide release next Friday following three successful weeks of platform release.

Next weekend sees the arrival of Rampage, Truth or Dare, Borg Vs. McEnroe –which apparently is not the Star Trek/Tennis movie we have all been waiting for- and Isle of Dogs. While A Quiet Place should have a solid second weekend, it will have to make way for the cinematic genius of Rampage.

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